'Reach of medical institutes should be beyond big cities'



Lucknow: Terming lack of human resources and physical infrastructure as reasons behind inadequate health services in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday asked the private sector and NGOs to "step up" their involvement to share responsibility in extending services in the rural areas.

He also said that the reach of medical institutes should not remain confined to big cities "but must touch the hearts of the millions struggling for equitable access" to quality healthcare.

"Lack of human resources is as responsible for inadequate provision of health services as lack of physical infrastructure, especially in rural areas.”

"The density of doctors in India is only 0.6 per 1,000 and that of nurses and midwives 1.30 per 1,000... Pointing clearly to the acute shortage of healthcare professionals," he said while addressing the 8th convocation of the King George's Medical University here.

Mukherjee, who is on his first visit to Uttar Pradesh after taking over as the President, stressed on the need to encourage distance learning and extension services in rural areas.

"Non-governmental organisations and private sector entrepreneurs should also step up their involvement in an effort to share responsibility and make a contribution," he said.

The President said there was also a need to devise effective and sustainable solutions to the existing and emerging health problems being faced by the people.

"This would need innovations in preventive approaches, treatments and rehabilitation. The frontiers of science and technologies must be extended for improving the health of the people, especially the poor," he said.

He said there was a need to expand teaching institutions for doctors, nurses and paramedics.

"Positive traditional healthcare practices and local remedies need to be encouraged," he said.

PTI